Title

THE HISPANIOLA DIASPORA, 1791-1850: PUERTO RICO, CUBA, LOUISIANA, AND OTHER HOST SOCIETIES (SLAVERY, RACE, SANTO DOMINGO)

Date of Completion

January 1986

Keywords

Black Studies|History, Latin American

Degree

Ph.D.

Abstract

The study examines the economic, political, and social repercussions of the Haitian Revolution (1791-1804) on the slaveholding societies of Puerto Rico, Cuba, Jamaica, Louisiana, Venezuela, and several cities in the United States. The focus is on the emigres who fled Hispaniola due to the events that enveloped the adjoining French and Spanish colonies. Special attention is paid to Louisiana and Cuba, both recipients of large numbers of emigres, and the effect of the Napoleonic invasion of Spain on both these societies. In both territories, the St. Dominguans augmented an already large population of free people of color. In Puerto Rico a similar situation occurred: the French contingent on the island was made up mostly of emigres from St. Domingue, and the free people of color were in turn the most numerous group within the French immigrant community.^ Chapter 1 discusses the Haitian Revolution and events that led to the first black republic in the Western Hemisphere. Chapters 2 and 3 look at the Hispaniola emigres in Louisiana, Cuba, Jamaica, and Venezuela, all very different social environments. The latter two were strongly affected by events in Europe. The common denominator in the host societies was the fear that the newcomers would "contaminate" the population with the ideals of the French Revolution. The fact that a large percentage of the emigres were people of color caused concern over a possible alliance with the slave population.^ Chapters 4 and 5 investigate the economic, political, and social development of Puerto Rico from the seventeenth century to the first decades of the nineteenth. Special attention is paid to population growth and the development of a cash-crop economy based on slave labor.^ Chapter 6 is a detailed examination of the municipality of Mayaguez, Puerto Rico, where the majority of Hispaniola emigres settled, and then engaged in sugar and coffee production and marketing. ^